Dukunde Kawa : Musasa, Rwanda
The farmers of Dukunde Kawa cultivate antique bourbon Arabica varietals, prized for their rich sweetness and subtle expressions of soil, climate, and terroir. The farmers careful stewardship of their trees throughout the year yields heavy harvests of juicy red coffee cherries, which are the starting point for great coffee.
Draped like a patchwork quilt over a steep winding ridge, the two thousand farms of the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative stretch over 10 kilometers of meandering hilltops and slopes. Each small farm is home to a family, and on their small plots, often an acre or less in size, the family produces beans, potatoes, plantains, and the economic lifeblood of their community, coffee. This community of farmers—collectively known as Musasa after the area’s main town—produces one of the most elegant coffees in the world.
During the harvest, each of Dukunde Kawa’s 2,000 members brings freshly harvested ripe cherries to one of three washing stations. The cooperative staff sorts the whole cherries by hand to ensure that there are no poorly ripened or damaged fruit. The cherries are then depulped—their skin is stripped from the fruit—and then allowed to ferment for 12–18 hours depending on the day’s temperature. Following fermentation, the fruit’s flesh separates easily from the bean inside, and is removed as the beans are passed through a winding series of washing channels. The beans are then placed on elevated drying racks where they are turned by hand to ensure even drying, covered during the intense mid-day tropical sun to prevent them from losing moisture too quickly, and monitored until they reach a stable moisture content of 14%.
The Coffee—Deep chocolate notes, juicy hints of orange, plum, and the sweetness of maple syrup.
- Co-op: Dukunde Kawa Coop
- Region: Gakenke
- Altitude: 1,600 – 2,000 meters
- Processing: Wet / Washed
- Varietal: Bourbon